Updated: August 17, 2022
I am a 42-year-old cis bi male. I recently came out to my wife of 18 years. We are closer than ever and are truly in love. We see a joint therapist and each have individual therapists. A few months ago, my therapist suggested that I consider that I may be polyamorous and also suggested that he believes poly may be an orientation. Here’s why I’m writing and asking for help: My wife and I have ethically opened our marriage sexually, which is good fun, but we both desire emotionally investing ourselves in a third person. We anticipate that third person will be a man. We are at a loss on how to make that connection for a few reasons. Chief among them is my wife’s profession. She works for a church and is heavily involved in ministry. I don’t have to tell you that the tolerance level for anything other than vanilla missionary male/female sex (at least publicly) is venomous among evangelical assholes. This makes dating sites like OKCupid and online platforms that require photos risky. Also, we are finding that most sites cater to the swinging lifestyle which is okay for one-time meets, but aren’t really geared towards finding a gentleman for a relationship. Finally, and this just may be my perception, it doesn’t seem there are very many men looking for this kind of commitment. I’ve heard the term unicorn bandied about—mostly referring to women—but male unicorns… do they even exist?
In any case, are you aware of any resources that may help us? I’m almost resigned to the idea that we’re going to have to bite the bullet, be more public in our search, and be prepared to tell anyone who needs telling to “fuck right off” and use an online dating service or hookup app to make the connections and try to build a relationship from there. I just wanted to try and find something very discreet so that maybe we could avoid the judgment that WILL come from the evangelicals all around us.
Probably Outta Luck, Yeah?
P.S. I’m trying to be conscious of couple’s privilege in this endeavor. We want to fully love a third and be loved in return.
Considering what your wife does for a living… I’m having a hard time scraping together much in the way of sympathy for your plight, POLY. It’s not that she’s “in ministry.” I’m not a bigot. I’ve known some very cool, very liberal, very progressive, very sex-positive, and some very kinky folks who were “in ministry.”
What I’m having a problem with is the fact that your wife either works for or with evangelicals—a group that not only overwhelmingly hates queers like me and the man your wife married, POLY, but a group whose racial bigotry put Donald Trump in the White House and could return him to the White House for a second term. So I find myself feeling somewhat disinclined to direct you to all the non-online, no-photos-required, no-risk/all-reward resources out there for opposite-sex couples who wanna date bisexual male unicorns without anyone down at the megachurch catching wind. If any such resources existed, POLY, which they don’t.
But I will direct you to this chart…
Most heterosexual couples meet online these days, POLY, and the percentage of queer couples who meet online—to say nothing of queer throuples—is even higher, of course, since queers rarely meet “in church” or “through family.” And since polyamorous pickup joints aren’t really a thing outside of maybe Oakland, POLY, and since most of your friends and family aren’t aware you’re looking for a third to join your relationship, POLY, which means your friends and family can’t set you up with all the guys they know who wanna join opposite-sex couples as their thirds if they knew any, POLY, which they don’t because that’s not something single men share with their friends and family, POLY, just as you haven’t shared with your friends and family the fact that you’re looking for a single man to join your relationship, POLY, so it’s not like your family and friends would even know to hook you up if some random dude had blurted out “I’m a bi guy looking to date an opposite-sex couple, preferably one that is surrounded by—and whose financial security is dependent on the good opinion of—venomously anti-queer evangelical Christians!” at their July 4th BBQ, POLY, which isn’t something anyone would blurt out at a party…
Where the fuck was I? Oh, right: You’re gonna have to risk getting online if you wanna find that third, POLY, which means you’re gonna have to show your faces. And since there are no anti-discrimination protections for people in open relationships or poly folks, POLY, your wife might wanna update her resume. Religious organizations are free to discriminate in employment—as we’re reminded on an almost daily basis—and the Trump administration is working to expand the “right” of religious organizations and individuals to discriminate against queers like you and me in an effort to
please fellate the racist evangelicals “Christians” who put Trump in the White House and that your wife currently works with or for or near or whatever the fuck.
Zooming out for a second, POLY…
You only recently came out to your wife as bi, you even more recently opened your relationship, and you most recently realized you would prefer a poly relationship. (Is your wife on board? Just curious.) Going from monogamous to open to poly so quickly… yeah, I think you might wanna slow your roll. You’re relatively new to openness, POLY, and while everything has been fun and sexy so far, you and the wife may encounter—as so many newly open couples do—unexpected issues, insecurities, conflicts, etc., as openness moves from your new adventure to your new normal. Maybe give it and yourselves a little more time before you start dating other men together?
You’re also gonnawannabe realistic about the odds when you do start seeking out potential thirds. Not only do you have to find a guy you’re attracted to sexually, romantically, emotionally, POLY, but one your wife finds equally attractive (or close enough) and that guy has to be equally attracted (or close enough) to both of you—and he has to be single and interested in joining an established couple in a triad. (They call ’em unicorns because they’re hard to find.)
And in my own experience, POLY, both personal and professional, most people who wind up in triads weren’t seeking them out. They were just messing around. They were being single and having fun and wound up hooking up with a couple and the sex was good and they kept hooking up with that couple and then they began hanging out with that couple after hook ups and then they started sleeping over and ultimately wound up spending so much time at the couple’s place that it didn’t make much sense for them to hold onto their own apartment anymore and—poof! shazzzam! just like that!—a triad was born.
So my advice… which I was at first reluctant to give but I had a pot lozenge before I sat down to write this last night and here we are… my advice is to keep messing around. Advertise as a couple looking for play and possibly more with a bi men. If the sex is good and you find yourselves hanging out after, invite the bi guy over again. Fuck some more, hang out some more, fuck some more. See where it goes.
And finally, POLY, get the hell away from those venomous evangelical assholes. Failure to do so will not only complicate your search… it makes you even more complicit in their assholery than you already are.